The anti-cuts direct action network UK Uncut staged an alternative street party outside Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s London home on Saturday, as part of a wave of action against so-called “architects of austerity” by the group.
Jean Sandler, 42, UK Uncut supporter said: “Nick Clegg is one of the architects of austerity; he’s a millionaire and lives in a million pound home.
“The cuts are a political choice of this government and the Cabinet of out of touch millionaires, they are not necessary.
“No one voted for Cameron and Clegg’s disasterous plan that means that we end up paying for the banks’ crisis.
“These cruel cuts are designed to destroy our public services, the NHS, the Welfare state and our future. The cuts are getting personal and so are our protests. ”
Around 400 demonstrators descended on the street of Clegg’s Putney residence. Disabled activists reportedly chained their wheelchairs at both ends of the street, and revellers enjoyed a picnic with music and speeches from other activists. The mood was described by the Metropolitan Police as relaxed, and there were no reported arrests.
The General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, Mark Serwotka, backed the protesters, saying: “We applaud their innovative and inspirational action that takes the campaign right to the doorsteps of those responsible.
“We would like to see more of this kind of community campaigning, linking up with unions, arguing for the alternative to spending cuts, for investment to improve our public services and to protect our communities from what this arrogant government is trying to do.”
The protest raised concern from some quarters over the location, with commentators on Twitter debating whether this constituted harassment or even terrorism. Conservative MP Louise Mensch described the action as “intolerable bullying”, and urged people who agreed with her to donate £5 to the Liberal Democrats, to “send a message” to UK Uncut and show “solidarity with the DPM and his family [sic]”.
Nick Clegg and his family were away during the protest. A spokesperson for Mr Clegg said that “People have a right to peaceful protest.”